Senior official accuses VA of wasting $6 billion a year, making 'mockery' of laws

Senior official accuses VA of wasting $6 billion a year, making 'mockery' of laws
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

An internal memo from the Department of Veterans Affairs' deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics, Jan R. Frye, accuses agency leaders of "gross mismanagement" and making a "mockery" of federal acquisition laws.

In the 35-page memo, obtained by The Washington Post, Frye describes the Veterans Health Administration, which covers 8.7 million veterans, as full of "lawlessness and chaos," adding that "doors are swung wide open for fraud, waste, and abuse."

Frye accuses the department of spending at least $6 billion a year in violation of federal rules, "wasting taxpayer money and putting veterans at risk." Some of the unauthorized spending Frye cites includes using purchase cards, which are intended for minor purchases below $3,000, to purchase "billions of dollars of medical supplies," including prosthetics, without contracts. Frye says the department also neglected to participate in competitive bidding and contracts with outside healthcare providers and hospitals, which led to at least $5 billion in rule-violating fees.

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"These unlawful acts may potentially result in serious harm or death to America’s veterans,” Frye wrote in the memo. "Collectively, I believe they serve to decay the entire VA health-care system." Read more at The Washington Post.

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